Abuja (Women Affairs Ministry Report) – The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Zainab Maina has announced that the federal government is in the process of reviewing the National Policy on Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities to enable government and its partners handle their issues and concerns more effectively.
She disclosed this recently at the event organized by her Ministry to mark the 2014 International Day of Persons with Disabilities in Abuja. The Minister noted that inadequate attention to disability issues and its consequences have continued to remain a major challenge threatening human existence and the attainment of meaningful development.
Zainab Maina stressed that the laxity has led to the renewed efforts globally towards bringing public interest to the matters affecting Person With Disabilities, especially through the United Nations declarations, treaties, instruments, conventions and optional protocols. This year’s theme: “Sustainable Development – the Promise of Technology” was conceived through the idea that throughout human history, technology has always impacted on the way people live, but unfortunately not all people benefit from the advances of technology and the attendant higher standard of living.
The Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ezekiel Oyemomi observed that this year’s commemoration will work to harness the power of technology to promote inclusion and accessibility, help in realising the full and equal participation of Persons with Disabilities in the society, and shaping the future of sustainable development for all. She disclosed that there are over one billion people living in the world with some form of disability. “Around the world, Persons with Disabilities not only face physical barriers, but also social, economic and attitudinal barriers,” she revealed.
“Disability is associated with 20 percent global poverty of which the majority live in developing countries. In Nigeria alone, there are over 20 million people living with one form of disability or the other. In spite of being the world’s largest minority group, Persons With Disabilities and the issues of disability have remained largely invisible in the mainstream development framework and its protocols.”
Zainab Maina further emphasized that this year’s commemoration will work to harness the power of technology to promote inclusion and accessibility, in order to help realize the full and equal participation of persons with Disabilities in the society and shape the future of sustainable development for all.
According to her, as part of the measures to make Persons with Disabilities self-reliant, the Women Ministry has successfully organized a three-day National Trade Fair / Exhibition of Products Made by Persons with Disabilities. She stated that the Ministry has also conducted technical and capacity development of persons with disabilities as well as provided aids and appliances with support from partners.
She also explained that the Ministry sponsored the candidature of the immediate past President of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities ( JONAPWDs) in Nigeria, Danlami Basharu in the recently concluded election into the UN Committee of Experts on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, New York in USA, indicating that Nigeria now has a strong voice on disability issues at the global level as a result of his victorious emergence.
Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary, who was represented by the Director of Rehabilitation in the Ministry, Victoria Akintaro opined that one of the mandates of the Ministry is to promote the welfare and protect the rights of Persons With Disabilities in the country as well as play leading roles in promoting the understanding of disability as well as mobilizing support for the dignity, rights and well-being of Persons with Disabilities.
The President of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Ekaete Umoh in her remarks at the occasion hinted that Persons living with Disabilities make valuable contributions to the society and should be carried along in the scheme of things.
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